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Another blow to defence credibility

Fri, 23 Jul 2004

Simon Power - National Defence spokesman

Another blow to defence credibility

The credibility of New Zealand's defence forces has suffered another blow with the announcement that the Navy will not have a training ship for the two years leading to the delivery of its new ships, says National's Defence spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on an announcement that the Navy's training ship, the Canterbury, will be decommissioned next year because it has become too old and fragile. The Navy is expected to take delivery of the first of seven ships under Project Protector in 2007.

"This is simply bad planning and bad timing, leaving the Navy in a training bind and makes our defence forces a laughing stock," Mr Power says.

"The Government must move urgently to ensure there is a backup training option to ensure the Navy is up and ready to hit the decks running on Project Protector.

"The Army is getting its share with $672 million worth of new light armoured vehicles, but there seems to have been a lack of planning leading up to the Navy's big revamp.

"We are completely surrounded by water and you would have thought they would have given this a bit more priority," Mr Power says.

"The money is being spent on the Navy, it's just a pity they are not very well organised."

ENDS

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